Bottle-build schools

We spend (some of!) our days trawling the web to find you the best adventure holidays, travel stories and kit news, so occasionally we come across great little snippets which aren’t related, but are worth shouting about. This is one of them – building schools in Guatemala out of old drinks bottles.

Hug It Forward are using technology developed by Pura Vida, whereby discarded plastic drinks bottles are used in the building of walls.

A chicken wire mesh supports the bottles, which are stuffed with waste such as plastic bags. Structural frames of wood hold these in place, while layers of concrete form the rest of the walls. The bottles, filled with waste, provide excellent insulation, and take up space which may otherwise have been created from expensive building materials. This building technique means that schools can be built for less than $10,000.

Aside from the construction itself, the process of collecting and filling bottles can be done by the children, who will ultimately benefit from the building of the school. This provides them with a sense of ownership through their participation in the construction, and provides a great platform for education on environmental issues. The towns also benefit from less waste strewn about the streets, and local people can gain valuable building skills.

Hug It Forward have completed 14 schools, and a further 3 are in construction all over Guatemala. Here’s a great video documenting the building of a school.

Image from Hug It Forward.